Tuesday, December 14, 2010

No-fry eggplant parmigiana

Large eggplant, sliced into 1/4 inch thick slices, skin on
bread crumbs seasoned with salt and pepper
egg-wash (scramble an egg into a bowl with some milk and salt)
olive oil
Pasta sauce (made your way)
Shredded Mozzarella cheese

-Coat baking sheet with olive oil.
-Dip eggplant into eggwash, the coat with bread crumbs. Place in baking sheet. Spray top of eggplant with olive oil. You can also not coat the pan and just dip the eggplant very lightly in olive oil before laying it in the pan.
-Place baking sheet in middle of oven. Turn on the broiler and broil until golden.
-Layer the eggplant with a little bit of tomato sauce, and cheese then bake for about 30 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius.

Enjoy with some pasta.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Pizza dough

1 cup white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tsp. dry active yeast
1/4 tsp. sugar
2 TBs warm water

-Start off by mixing the yeast and sugar into the warm water. I usually use a mug for this then put it in a dark place (cupboard) for about 20 minutes. The yeast will at least double or triple in size.
-Mix the flour and salt together, then add the oil and yeast mixture. Knead dough well, you may need to add a bit of extra warm water if it's too dry but be careful only add one tablespoon at a time so your dough doesn't become too sticky.
-Cover the dough with a moist towel and let it sit for half an hour, the longer the better. It will double in size.
-Spread the dough into a greased pan (I usually use a cookie sheet). Let it sit for another 15 minutes it will rise a bit more. Add your toppings and bake in the lowest oven rack for about 15 minutes at 400 degree or until the edges are golden.

Note: Bake time really depends on your oven. I used to have an electric oven and I"d back the pizza at 500 degrees for about 9 minutes. It would come out perfect. Now with my gas oven it takes a longer time. Just test it out the first time until you get used to your oven :)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Homemade Hummus

1 can chickpeas/garbanzo beans, heated
1 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs Tahini sauce
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup water
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp. salt

Blend and enjoy! :)

Bilyana's Lentil Soup

1 cup red lentils, washed
2 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 stick of butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp pepper

- Melt butter in sauce pan, add onions and fry until wilted, then add garlic and stir for a minute. Add tomatoes, when the tomatoes start to cook down a bit (after about 5 minutes) add lentils and stir. Add water (about 3 cups).
-Bring to a boil, then simmer and let cook until the lentils are soft. Add spices.
-Place soup in blender and blend until smooth, return to heat, cook for a few more minutes, add water and salt if needed and serve! :)

This soup is really delicious with some olive oil, lemon, and pita chips.

For the true middle eastern version: Take out the garlic, replace spices (except for salt and pepper) with ground cumin. And replace butter with 1/4 cup olive oil.

Enjoy! :)

Macaroni Salad

3/4 cup Mayo (I prefer using light mayo)

2 TBs vinegar

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

8 oz elbow macaronni

red bell pepper, diced

green bell pepper, diced

Friday, November 26, 2010

Roasted leg of lamb

Leg of lamb (or any other piece of lamb you have)
tomato paste
olive oil
cardamon powder
chopped onion

-Marinade the meat over night. First start by putting olive oil on the meat, then salt and crushed black pepper. Be generous with the pepper. Sprinkle some cardamon powder on the meat as well.
-In a chopper, finely chop the onion then add a cup of yogurt and two tablespoons of tomato paste, blend well. Use this mixture to coat the meat all around (top and bottom). Place in the fridge over night or until you are ready to bake it.
-When ready to bake: add a cup of water to the pan place rack in the middle of the oven and bake at 325 degrees for about 2 hours or until the meat is done and has a nice color.

Viola! you have yourself a delicious meal! :)

As for the veggies...

I used potatoes, zucchini and carrots. I marinated them with olive oil, salt and pepper. You can add them to the meat tray half way through the cooking process or you can bake them in a separate pan.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sweet potato casserole

The BEST and healthiest dessert you've had in a while. Yes it's healthy even though it has butter in it! :) Butter is considered a good fat, unlike margarine, or vegetable oils (with the exception of olive oil of course). Try it, you won't regret it... guaranteed!

4 cups sweet potato cubed
1/2 cup honey
2 eggs beaten
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp butter softened
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla

1 cup walnuts chopped
10 dates pitted and chopped
3 tbsp of butter soft
1/3 cup shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 175 C
Cook sweet potatoe, steam or boil. Mash, and mix with honey, eggs, salt, butter, milk and vanilla till fluffy and smooth. (make sure you add the eggs last so the "just-boiled" sweet potatoes don't cook them. I usually add the cold milk to it and other ingredients first, mash it a bit and when it cools off i add the beaten eggs and mix them in)
Put in a 9 x 13 greased with butter
In a med. bowl mix walnuts, dates, shredded coconut and cut butter into it
sprinkle on top of sweet potatoe mixture
Bake 30 min.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


This recipe was sent to me via my sweet sister and teacher Noura Shamma.

Note: you can make this without meat and substitute with some celery if you like.

1 pound ground beef (1/2 kg )
2 large onion
ground cumin
3 cans of chopped tomatoes (or if you have fresh you can use those)
2 cans of navy beans
tomato sauce (or paste - if you use paste you'll need to add water)

Chop 1 onion, saute in oil until golden, add garlic, fry briefly
add ground beef and mix w/onions, break up the meat with a fork
add about a cup of water
add salt, pepper, cumin (about 1 teaspoon), cinnamon (1 teaspoon), allspice (1 teaspoon), red pepper/chili if you like
let the meat cook - add more spices as you like,

In a separate pot -
chop and fry onion, with garlic
add oregano, salt, pepper, let it fry 30seconds
add the tomatoes
let that cook a bit
then add paprika (1-2 teaspoon)
add tomato sauce (1 can)
let that simmer
add more spices to taste

drain the navy beans and wash them (avoid the ones w/added sugar)
add the beans to the tomatoes
add the meat
let the whole thing simmer as long as you can, add water if starts to cook down too much.

the longer it cooks the better it tastes, if you can even do it the day before that would be better.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Eggplant Curry

Eggplant, chopped into cubes (with peel)
Large Onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. coriander
2 tsp. cumin seed
1 TBs tomato paste
1 cup water
olive oil

-Heat olive oil in pan, add onions and saute until they start to become tender, add garlic.
-Add the spices: cumin seed, paprika, coriander.
-Add eggplant and salt & pepper to taste.
-When the eggplant starts to get soft add the tomato paste and water. Let it simmer until the eggplant is fully cooked. You can cover it while it's cooking so it doesn't dry out too much. You can also add more tomato paste and water to your liking.

Enjoy with some bread or rice! :)


This makes a double batch. You can use a 13x9 pan.

wet ingredients:
2 sticks butter, melted
2 cups white sugar
3 eggs (if you like your brownies fudgy then only use 2 eggs)
2 tsp. vanilla extract

dry ingredients:
1 cup flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1.2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
-Melt butter than add it to the sugar and mix together. When it cools down a bit add the eggs and vanilla and mix.

-Mix dry ingredients together then add them to the wet ingredients.
-Mix everything together well, toss in the walnuts at the end.

-Place batter in a greased 13x9 pan. Bake for 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Moussakka (Jordanian style) مسقعه

-Fresh beefsteak tomatoes sliced
-Canned crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce
-Bell pepper, chopped
-olive oil
-salt and pepper
-Onion, minced
-Ground beef

-Slice the eggplant vertically into half inch slices. If the eggplant is too long then cut the vertical slices in half horizontally (you can peel the skin of the eggplant or keep it depending on how you like it). Brush a cookie sheet with olive oil, lay eggplant slices on top then brush eggplant slices generously with olive oil. Broil in the oven until golden then flip the eggplant and broil the other side. (this is a much healthier and easier alternative than frying!)

-Saute the onion in some olive oil until it starts to brown then add the ground beef, saute for a few minutes then add the bell pepper. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. When the beef is done cooking add the tomato sauce. Bring it to a boil and simmer for another 5 minutes.

-In a pyrex dish, layout one layer of eggplant slices (half the amount you baked) then add the beef mixture. Layout the rest of the eggplant on top and then top it off with the tomato slices.

-Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes at 350 then broil it for ten minutes or until tomatoes start to get golden.

Enjoy this delicious dish with some pita bread, rice, or bulgar. Yum! :)

-I didn't put quantities because it all depends on how many people you are making this for.

-The Greeks make this dish too, but they add béchamel sauce to it before baking. It's also an excellent dish but this version is lighter.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Chocolate bliss

What you need:
-Lite cool whip (thawed)
-Chocolate bar (for baking, I recommend the one from trader joe's)
-chocolate cake mix (betty crockers devil's food or extra moist chocolate cake works well)
-You'll need eggs and oil for the cake mix
-1 can condensed milk

What to do:
-Bake the cake in 13x9 pan according to package directions. Let the cake cool down for at least 30 minutes before you start
-Meanwhile, break up the chocolate into squares and place in a glass or metal bowl (if you like, reserve one or two squares of chocolate to decorate the dessert with chocolate shavings in the end). Place the bowl over a saucepan that is a quarter of the way filled with water, place the saucepan and bowl on the stove over medium heat. As the water comes to a boil the chocolate will melt. Turn the heat off, add can of condensed milk and whisk it together well. Ass two heaping tablespoons of cool whip and mix well.
-cut the 13x9 cooled cake into 1 inch thick pieces vertically (or any way you like, this is a totally random process so be creative! :))
-To assemble the dessert, start layering the cake and chocolate sauce you made in a glass dish (so you can see the layers, it makes it more appetizing that way ;)). Let the last layer be sauce (it will get soaked up by the cake later on or while you're making it). Then add a generous layer of cool whip and top off with chocolate shavings.
-Place in fridge until ready to serve. This dessert tastes even better if you make it a day before you're supposed to serve it.